Well where to start? You may well have seen that Beacon Books in Malvern is closing in early 2012. There was an ‘official’ announcement in the Malvern Gazette this week. It is very sad. A town like Malvern needs a focal point for booky type things. Whatever your feelings about Beacon Books it had the potential to be that focal point.
The shop had been on the market for quite a while. In Early 2011 a group of Malvern booklovers came together and formed a cooperative – the Malvern Book Cooperative – with the aim of buying Beacon Books and continuing to run it; and to develop it. Sadly this plan failed. The cooperative didn’t give up. Alternative premises have been found – in what is currently the Central Gallery on St Ann’s Road. We are in the process of seeking funding from the Cooperative Development Fund to fit these out and to purchase stock. If all these plans come together we aim to open in February 2012.
Aren’t independent bookshops all going bust in the face of the online retailers, ebooks and the big chainstore bookshops? Is it the wrong time to open a bookshop? Well actually it isn’t. There is a small but highly successful group of innovative and exciting bookshops around the country. One of our favourites is Jaffe and Neale in Chipping Norton. What is true is that ‘traditional’ bookshops are failing. The new band of booksellers offer more than just shelves full of books for sale. They build on everything that makes books special. They provide a focus for reading. They do what an online seller never can by providing a place where books provide a focus for social interaction. They also sell coffee and cake!
This is our plan. As things move on we’ll use this blog to let everyone know. We’d love your ideas as well…